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Australian Taxation Office to audit visa holders, international students and migration agents

The exterior of the Australian Government Taxation Office in Sydney. (AAP Image/April Fonti) Source: AAP

The ATO said that records of 20 million individuals will be obtained.

The Australian Taxation Office will begin an audit of visa holders, international students who work in Australia and migration agents who help people migrate to Australia, The Courier Mail reports.

Personal records of over 20 million migrants who have lived in Australia on a visa will be audited over the next three years to check if they have paid their tax and enforce superannuation requirements.

The audit plan also includes auditing migration agents to help identify potential fraudsters rorting foreign investment rules, the report states.

The audit will include the address history of visa applicants and their sponsors; all their arrivals and departures in Australia and details of their education provider if they are on a student visa.

Eligible migrants who left Australia without claiming their superannuation may receive their superannuation amount now.

"We intend to acquire visa information for visas granted in the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020."

- ATO

The ATO said, “It is estimated that records of 20 million individuals will be obtained over the course of the three year period.

“These records will be electronically matched with ATO data holdings to identify noncompliance with obligations under taxation and superannuation laws.

“The objectives of this data matching program are to maintain currency of our knowledge of taxation and superannuation risks within the visa holders, visa sponsors and migration agents populations (and) test the accuracy and strengths of our existing risk detection models ... and identify areas for improvement in our models, treatment systems and practices.”

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